8 East Valley police agencies form critical incident response team

Jun 26, 2024, 4:15 AM

Side of a Mesa, Arizona, police department vehicle...

Eight police agencies across the Valley will form an East Valley Critical Incident Response Team to investigate critical force incidents. (Facebook File Photo/City of Mesa Police Department)

(Facebook File Photo/City of Mesa Police Department)

PHOENIX – Eight police agencies are partnering to form an East Valley Critical Incident Response Team (EVCIRT) to investigate critical force incidents that occur within the other units.

EVCIRT will feature police units from Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Queen Creek, Scottsdale and Tempe. The initiative will begin July 1.

The agency was formed due to the passing of ARS 41-1762 (HB 2650), which goes into action on July 1, 2025.

What is a critical force incident?

EVCIRT is defining a critical force incident as: “Either an officer-involved shooting or any incident involving the use of force resulting in death or serious bodily injury of another person. This applies to officers while either on or off duty while acting under the color of authority.”

After a critical force incident takes place, EVCIRT will open an investigation.

In addition, a representative from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office or Pinal County Attorney’s Office will also be part of the investigation to make sure everything is performed fairly and accurately.

How will the investigation work?

The local agency involved in the critical force incident will not be involved in the criminal investigation; however, the agency responsible will still perform an internal investigation.

Apache Junction, Paradise Valley and Queen Creek will work as co-case agents for all lead investigations to begin with and the other members of EVCIRT will investigate the other agency in question.

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8 East Valley police agencies form critical incident response team